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What can I put in my soil to loosen it up so it does not turn into clumps of heavy mud when wet?

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The best amendment for soils to improve soil structure is to add organic matter - and the best organic matter is in the form of well aged compost.  Fully composted organic matter can be purchased at nursery and box stores and also at the Salt Lake City Landfill, but you can also produce your own using kitchen waste, lawn clippings, fall leaves.  Sometimes folks put in manure or leaves directly in the soil, however, high salt content, weed seeds are problems you don't want to introduce into your soils.  By first composting manure, leaves and other materials you can produce great organic matter that will improve soil structure.  Here is the link to USU publication on backyard composting, https://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/HG-Compost-01.pdf .

For general information on gardening you can check our Salt Lake County Extension webpage at http://extension.usu.edu/saltlake/htm/horticulture

Good Gardening!

Posted on 30 Jul 2008

Maggie Shao
Horticulture Agent, Salt Lake County

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